Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Mediocre Doctor

I have this idea in my head for a story. I've actually started writing it, but haven't gotten very far. I love the idea that is in my head, but when I begin writing, it starts getting too complicated. I want it to be a short story, not a novel. It might make a good episode for the Twilight Zone. Not too creepy, but a little creepy Well, not very creepy at all....unless it really happened.

I already have a name for this mediocre doctor too. His name is Jeremiah Jones.

Monday, October 30, 2017

POTS

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Although I only heard the term recently, I have had the symptoms since my early 20's!

In a nutshell, it means that my heart beats too fast when I stand up. So when I stand up, my heart may beat as fast as someone who is running a marathon! This means that I am always tired. I wake up tired every morning, I feel tired all day, and I go to bed tired at night. I also have digestive troubles, brain fog, and whole body pain that seem to be associated with this. Some days are better than other days, and I seem to have periods of remission (especially when the weather is cooler and pleasant), but some days, getting out of bed is nearly impossible. Hot weather, showers, hot water, sugar, carbs, big meals, and standing up are my enemies. Salt, fluids, smaller meals, light exercise, my bed, and chairs are my friends.

I still have a lot to learn about dealing with this. Part of me is relieved to finally know what is wrong, and part of my is frustrated that there isn't a quick fix. I think I am making progress though.

Right now my plan is to...
Take it easy when I need to.
Be more consistent with my exercise.
Stick to a low carb, high fat diet.
Increase my salt intake.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Learn what affects my heart rate by continuing to monitor it throughout the next year, making note of what seems to make it better or worse (weather, temperature, activities, food, etc.).

So be patient with me. I might misread your email or text, you might have to repeat what you say to me. I might not make sense, forget to finish my sentence, or use the wrong word, (Thinking and talking while standing can be a challenge when my heart is racing). I might have to sit down or lay down often throughout the day just so I can function. I might look healthy, but my body is not always working like it supposed to.

I know that God can be glorified in this, and that is my greatest desire. Be glorified in my life Lord!




Saturday, October 21, 2017

Why haven't I been blogging?

Am I too busy? Do I just not to make the time? Hmmm.

I have thought of many things to blog about. Lots of ideas rolling around in my head. Sometimes I write whole blog posts in my head, or even on the computer, but I don't post them. Why not?

I really enjoy writing, but I don't do it as much as I feel like I should. Am I just lazy? Do I need more self discipline? I'm sure I do!

A conversation I had today made me think of a blog post I wrote years ago. I started looking over my blog and I started thinking of why I don't post much, especially since I have so many ideas about writing! I think one of the main contributing factors is that I simply care too much about what others think. I worry that I will say the wrong thing and offend someone. I am afraid I will say the wrong thing and steer someone in the wrong direction. I am afraid I will make someone upset with me. Not that I shouldn't care at all. I should be conscientious about what I write. Perhaps though, I should't worry so much what others think of me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Recovering

I am now 19 days out from surgery. I thought I would share how it went.

Wednesday Oct. 26th. Archie and I dropped our boys off at church and drove up to Atlanta to stay with cousins. We arrived right at 11 pm.

Thursday Oct. 27th. We decided to give ourselves plenty of time to get to the Center for Endometriosis Care. It was only 30 miles from where we were staying but traffic that time of morning in the big city is crazy! It took us nearly 2 hours to get there. We arrived just a few minutes before my appointment time. I couldn't believe I was actually there! I learned about the CEC years ago and always hoped some day I would be able to get treatment there. Their Doctors have fantastic reputations for removing endometriosis, thus providing long term pain relief from this disease.

The nurse, staff, and doctor were all very kind. Everything was explained about the surgery. Adenomyosis was also suspected (causing a very painful uterus), so we decided to do a hysterectomy as well as excision of endometriosis. It was a big decision, and not one we took lightly, I did a lot of research and prayed about it beforehand.

After my appointment Archie and I did a little shopping, we got a few soft foods for me to eat after surgery, then we went back to where we were staying and I had to do a "bowel prep". It was not fun, I was not allowed to eat anything after breakfast and the prep made me nauseated. I spent the day between the toilet and bed.

Friday Oct. 28th. We got up early and headed to the hospital at about 4:30. This time it only took us just over half an hour to get there. We walked into the hospital about 5:15 am and registered. Right at 5:30 I was escorted into the surgical prep area. Archie had to wait in the waiting room but I was able to bring Sammy in with me. Sammy was one of Silas' sea turtles, his first big on that he received for his 4th birthday from Grandpa and Grandma. He took it in to all but his first surgeries. I didn't know if they would really let me keep Sammy with me, but I was going to give it a try. My PTSD was getting stirred up being in a hospital. Going through all of Silas' cancer treatments, spending so much time in hospitals, and having to say goodbye to him, have all left a lot of painful memories.

I changed into a hospital gown, they put in an IV and drew blood. They gave me a pill to swallow and then gave me some "happy juice", just like Silas received on many occasions. Archie was allowed to come in and spend a few minutes with me before they wheeled me back to the OR. He prayed for me and gave me a kiss and went back out to the waiting area. When I arrived in the OR the Doctor and Surgical assistant grabbed my hands and the Surgeon prayed for me, he prayed that he would do a good job and that I would be pain free in the future. I scooted onto the surgery table and then I went to sleep.

The surgery lasted about 5 hours, just a little longer than the estimated 4. I was in the recovery area for a while. I was in pain and disoriented. I asked the nurse if they found endometriosis during the surgery (it cannot be seen on any scans or tests so the only way they can know if it is there is to look inside), she said yes and I started to cry. All of these years of pain and it was finally confirmed what I had believed for years. I say I started to cry, I quickly stopped myself because it hurt too much. I remember talking about Silas a lot. Sammy was still with me. I don't remember what all I said. After a while they moved me to a room and Archie was allowed to join me. I don't remember a lot. Later that evening I was up and walking. I was still using a pain pump and they gave me some pills as well. I think I slept pretty well, the meds made me sleepy.

Saturday Oct. 29th. About 7:30 in the morning the Surgeon came in to see me. He went over my surgical photos with me and explained that in addition to what we thought was wrong, he also found a lot of adhesions, some from my gallbladder surgery. He removed those as well as my appendix. I finally had stage II endometriosis confirmed! Stage II is the most common stage to be discovered. He was happy with my progress and released me to leave the hospital. Archie and I pretty quickly got ready and headed back to his cousin's house. The drive was somewhat painful, I had 3 small incisions in my belly and was wearing a "belly binder" for support. I was told to start my medicine routine as soon as we got to where we were going. I did, pain meds every 3 hours around the clock. This was not pleasant, I hate meds. I hate having to eat to take them. But I was in pain. For the next few days we ate, slept, watched movies, and slept. I don't remember a lot of it due to the meds.

Tuesday November 1. We got up late in the morning and packed up, well, Archie packed up. We headed out to my 3 pm follow up visit at the CEC. The surgeon again explained my surgical pics to me and answered a couple of questions. They were impressed with my progress and suggested cutting back on the meds. Which I planned to do as soon as we made it home. I didn't think I could make such a long drive without them. We left and headed home, stopping every hour to walk around and stopping to eat. It seemed like it took forever but we made it home about 10 pm. The  boys were home waiting for us.

Over the next couple of weeks I have gotten stronger and had less pain but it is still early in the recovery process, they said to expect 8-9 weeks. I was warned not to over-do it and to get plenty of rest in the coming days. I haven't taken any pain meds in a few days. I no longer wake up in the middle of the night with outrageous cramping! While I am still tender and tired, I am making progress and am hopeful that in time I will be strong, healthy, and finally pain free!

God is amazing! I know that He was in this, and I am so thankful. In my life Lord, be glorified!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

God is so good!!!

God is so good, God You're so good to me!

I don't know why I bother worrying. I am learning not to! God takes care of everything. He provides, He cares, He loves us so much! He so often shows up in unexpected ways bringing unexpected blessings.

My surgery is actually happening a week from tomorrow! The Lord has made provision for this to happen and I am so very thankful to Him!

The boys will be taken care of while Archie and I are away, the bills are provided for, we have a place to stay in Atlanta, and Archie has the time off of work!

Yes, I know, I am using a lot of exclamation marks, but I am feeling so incredibly blessed and I hope that comes across in this post. I want everyone to know that the God of the Universe is awesome, all powerful, amazing, AND He loves us! He loves you!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.


Monday, October 10, 2016

How you can help

Many of my friends and family have asked how they can help as I prepare for surgery on Oct. 28th. I have had kind of a hard time asking for help. I feel very awkward about it. I am always telling other people to ask for what they need, to let people know what they need, and I think I need to do the same. So here goes...

1. Prayer. I need this more than anything else! The Lord knows all of my needs and He has the power and resources to meet every one of them. My specific prayer requests are as follows...
       ~That I will not need a bowel resection. (it is a possibility)
       ~That the surgery will go smoothly and the Doctor will be able to remove everything that shouldn't be in there.
       ~That I will be a witness to the Doctors, Nurses, and other staff that I come in contact with.
       ~That my boys would be well and well behaved as they stay with others during my time away.
       ~For safe travel to and from Atlanta.
       ~That I will stay free of colds and flu as I await surgery and during the recovery.
       ~For Archie and I to be able to navigate all of the fees, insurance, paperwork, etc.
       ~That the Lord will provide financially for the portion of the bill that falls on us.
       ~For quick healing and recovery after surgery

2. I still need a place for the boys to stay for a couple of the days that Archie and I will be in Atlanta. I have a couple of people who have offered, but am still working out the details. (Please pray that it will work out smoothly).

3. Since this is happening a lot faster and a lot sooner than expected we are not prepared to cover the deductible and up front fees. We have made the down payment to hold my surgery date, but we will need the rest of the deductible by the surgery date. Please do not feel obligated, but if you feel led to make a donation, my sister-in-law has graciously set up a page to accept donations. You can find that page here. If you choose to make a donation via paypal you can choose the friends and family option to avoid fees. If you would like to make a donation some other way, please let Archie or I know.

The Lord has already provided in so many ways. I went years without health insurance, and now we have it! We are so blessed to live near such a highly skilled Doctor who specializes in the kind of surgery that I need. Many of my friends prayed that I would have an earlier surgery date when I was originally told I wouldn't be able to have surgery until December or January, and it happened! October 28th is less than 3 weeks away now. I can see the Lord's hand in this, I know He will provide for all of these needs and I am trusting in Him. May He be glorified in my life.

God bless you!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

From worry to worship

I saw a quote on facebook that was something about turning our worry into worship. It got me thinking.

I have always struggled with worry. I have memorized scriptures on the subject, prayed and prayed to be delivered of worry, and overtime, I think I have made some progress toward learning not to worry. Lately, I have had a lot to bring me to worry.

One of the things I have struggled with is how to stop worrying. I know that I should, but I have never quite grasp the how. When I read this quote the other day it got me thinking, perhaps the worry needs to be replaced with something good. The solution to giving up many bad habits is to replace them with good habits. Could this be the same with my worries?

Philippians 4:8 says Finally, brethren, whatever things true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.

This is one of those key "don't worry" verses, and I have known it for a long time, but it is only recently that it has really had the impact I think it is supposed to have on me. It is so practical, it is the how of not worrying. When the worries creep in I am to worship the One who is all of these things, true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy! I am to meditate on Him, and to worship Him. So lately, when the worries and fears creep in I begin to sing praises to the Lord God. I still do the other things I know to stay calm, deep breathing, eating healthfully, and such, but I think the praise of God is what really clears the worry out of my mind. Sometimes instantly, sometimes it takes a while, but when I worship the Lord, my fears are calmed and my worries fade.

Worrying is of no use, it does not add anything to a situation, but rather takes away from trusting the Lord to provide, to heal, to save, to do His work. If I replace my worry and fear with praise for God, it refocuses my mind on what is most important, Him.

Will I ever worry again? Of course, I am human and still in my earthly tent. Do I know what to do when worry creeps in? Now I do! Praise the Lord!